Hotel gyms are not always the best but your training doesn’t need to suffer; with a little imagination you can have a killer workout no matter your destination.

It’s that time of year when we all want to get on a plane and go somewhere new, but with all the excitement of travel, training drops quickly down the priority list. With just a 30-minute HIIT workout, you can burn off all the extra vacation calories without taking too much time away from your planned activities.

All you really need for this is a pair of dumbbells, a bench and your bodyweight, but you can substitute the gym equipment for objects in your hotel room if the hotel gym is not up to scratch. Combining resistance training and cardio, whether you want to burn fat, build muscle, or just love a good workout; this simple circuit will get the job done.

In order for this workout to be effective you must work as hard as you can while keeping good form in the allocated time.

Total Body Warm Up

Do this twice

Prisoner Squats

Prisoner Squats Prisoner Squats

20-30 seconds

  • Stand in a shoulder-width stance with toes pointed slightly outward.
  • Keeping an upright torso, place your hands behind your head while pulling your shoulders and elbows back.
  • Lower into a squat position by pushing your hips back and bending your knees until the hip drops slightly below knee level.
  • Return to the start and repeat.

Elevated Push-Ups

Elevated Push-ups Elevated Push-ups

15 seconds on each side

  • Assume a push-up position with your left hand holding a dumbbell and your right hand on the floor.
  • Your hands should be directly underneath your shoulders.
  • Preferentially load your right hand (hand on floor) and lower your chest to the floor with your body
    as one unit.
  • Hold for a count and then return to the starting position and repeat.
  • Switch sides at the halfway mark.

Prisoner Reverse Lunges

Prisoner Reverse Lunges Prisoner Reverse Lunges

20 seconds on each side

  • Put your hands behind your head, squeeze your shoulder blades, and keep your chest up.
  • Drop back into a lunge with one leg.
  • Drive back up, keeping your abs tight.
  • Repeat on the opposite leg.

Metabolic Resistance Training Round One

Do this three times

Bulgarian Split Squats 

Bulgarian Split Squats Bulgarian Split Squats

20 seconds each side / 20 seconds rest in between

  • With your feet hip-width apart, place the instep of your rear foot on a bench.
  • Your feet should be approximately a metre apart.
  • Lower your hips so that your rear knee comes close to the floor.
  • Pause and drive through your front heel to return to the starting position.
  • Repeat, while alternating legs.

Dumbbell Chest Press

Dumbbell Chest Press Dumbbell Chest Press

40 seconds / 20 seconds of rest

  • Sit down on bench with dumbbells resting on lower thigh.
  • Kick weights to shoulder and lie back.
  • Position dumbbells to sides of chest with bent arm under each dumbbell.
  • Press dumbbells up with elbows to sides until arms are extended.
  • Return to the start and repeat.

Dumbbell Chest-Supported Rows

Dumbbell Chest-Supported Rows Dumbbell Chest-Supported Rows

40 seconds / 20 seconds of rest

  • Using a neutral grip, lean into an incline bench.
  • Take a dumbbell in each hand with a neutral grip, beginning with the arms straight.
  • Retract the shoulder blades and flex the elbows to row the dumbbells to your side.
  • Pause at the top of the motion, and then return to the starting position.
  • Repeat.

Metabolic Resistance Training Round Two

Do this three times

Goblet Squats

Goblet Squats Goblet Squats

40 seconds / no rest

  • Hold a weight against the chest.
  • Position your feet so your stance is just outside shoulder-width, with your toes pointed slightly out.
  • Go down as low as you can while keeping your feet flat on the floor.
  • At the bottom, brush your elbows down the inside of your legs and push your knees out.
  • Return to the start and repeat.

Dumbbell Incline Press

Dumbbell Incline Press Dumbbell Incline Press

40 seconds / no rest

  • Sit back an incline bench with a dumbbell in each hand.
  • Start with your elbows bent and in line with your chest and shoulders, holding the dumbbells aloft.
  • Be sure to keep full control of the dumbbells at all times.
  • Breathe out and push the dumbbells up with your chest.
  • Lock your arms at the top and hold for a second.
  • Slowly lower the weight back to the start.
  • Ideally, lowering the weights should take about twice as long as raising them.
  • Repeat.

Dumbbell Rows

Dumbbell Rows Dumbbell Rows

40 seconds on each side

  • Place your right knee on the end of the bench and bend your torso forward from the waist until your upper body is parallel to the floor.
  • Place your right hand on the other end of the bench for support.
  • Use your left hand to pick up the dumbbell on the floor and hold the weight while keeping your lower back straight.
  • The palm of the hand should be facing your torso.
  • This will be your starting position.
  • Breathe out and pull the resistance straight up to the side of your chest, keeping your upper arm close
    to your side and keeping the torso stationary.
  • Make sure that the force is performed with the back muscles and not the arms.
  • Concentrate on squeezing your back muscles once you reach the full contracted position.
  • The upper torso should remain stationary and the forearms should do no other work except for holding the dumbbell.
  • Breathe in and lower the resistance straight down to the starting position.
  • Switch sides and repeat.

Total Body Finisher

Use your last burst of energy on this final circuit

Jump Squats

Jump Squats Jump Squats

20 seconds then 10 seconds rest then 20 seconds then 10 seconds rest

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Start by doing a regular squat, then engage your core and jump up explosively.
  • When you land, lower your body back into the squat position to complete one rep.
  • Land as quietly as possible, which requires control.
  • Repeat and feel the burn.

Alternating Lunges

Alternating Lunges Alternating Lunges

20 seconds then 10 seconds rest then 20 seconds then 10 seconds rest

  • Start with your feet about shoulder-width apart, your back straight, a big proud chest and core engaged.
  • Lunge forward until you reach approximately 90 degrees at both knees.
  • Make sure not to extend your front knee past your toes.
  • Push your body back up to the starting position through your   front heel.
  • Switch legs and repeat.

Regular Push-Ups

Regular Push-Ups Regular Push-Ups

20 seconds then 10 seconds rest then 20 seconds then 10 seconds rest

  • Get into a high plank position.
  • Place your hands firmly on the ground, directly under shoulders.
  • Begin to lower your body – keeping your back flat and eyes focused in front of you to keep a neutral neck – until your chest grazes the floor.
  • Push back up.
  • Repeat.


Burpees Burpees Burpees

20 seconds then 10 seconds rest then 20 seconds then 10 seconds rest

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, weight in your heels, and your arms at your sides.
  • Push your hips back, bend your knees, and lower your body into a squat.
  • Place your hands on the floor directly in front of, and just inside, your feet.
  • Shift your weight onto them.
  • Jump your feet back to land softly on the balls of your feet in a plank position.
  • Your body should form a straight line from your head to heels.
  • Be careful not to let your back sag.
  • Jump your feet forwards so that they land just outside of your hands again.
  • Reach your arms overhead and explosively jump up into the air.
  • When you land, that’s one rep.
  • Repeat, if you dare!

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